Remember back in chapter 16 when I assured you (and myself) that we could finally dive into the creamy centre of all that steamy kinky sex, now that the contract was finalised? Well, I was wrong. There is no sex is this chapter. At all. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
The chapter begins with Ana dreaming that she is a moth flying into flames. I see what you did there. Subtle. Ana didn’t know she could dream sex, well I didn’t know you could dream clichés.
Ana wakes to find that Christian is still there. She is mildly surprised. Christian wakes up and is also surprised when he finds that he is in bed with Ana. Ok guys, did you figure the bed fairy was going to float you back to your separate beds while you slept?
Apparently they did expect a visit from the alarm clock fairy, because Christian looks at the time and realises he’s late for an 8 am meeting. I call bullshit. Seriously. We are supposed to believe that he’s a billionaire who can fly his own helicopter, but he can’t set an alarm on his cell phone? It’s pretty self-explanatory. Even I know how to do it.
Christian rushes off to work, promising to email her a time for the signing of the official contract, and then we launch into another gripping, sexy round of (you guessed it) email – twenty in all. Twenty. Twenty long, rambling, boring emails.
Ana tells Christian that she enjoyed the sex and spanking, but it made her feel bad about herself. He tells her she needs to get over herself, that she’s an adult, and that she could have used one of the safe words, or just left. Yes. Yes she could. But then she couldn’t be all overdramatic and feel sorry for herself.
Ana then goes to work – it’s her last day! I don’t care! And neither does anyone else! Christian, like the creepy-creeper-who-creeps that he is, has a blackberry delivered to her at work. So he can always contact her everywhere she goes. And so he can track her movements – something he has already admitted to doing with her old phone. Ooooh baby, are you as turned on as I am? I.e. not at all? I thought so.
So, of course, Ana hates the Blackberry. She hates every gift Christian gives her. She uses it to call him a stalker and suggest he get some therapy (ever notice how the word ‘therapist’ breaks down into ‘the rapist’? You will now). Or, you know, thank you, as we sometimes say. Don’t they make a great couple? She wants to be an overdramatic bitch and he wants to beat somebody: it’s a match made in Heaven. Or wherever broken weirdo matches are made. Hell? Albany? I don’t know.
Then Ana goes home, and lords her new car over her roommate, Kate. The same car she was furious at Christian for buying. And that she initially refused to accept. Kate and Ana have Chinese take-out with Jose, and then Kate’s boyfriend shows up. Ana and Jose excuse themselves and head out to the local bar to give Kate and her boyfriend some alone time. When they get back Ana checks her phone to find five missed calls and a voicemail from Christian.
She returns his call and they get into a game of you-hang-up-first. Seriously. Literally. They say those words to each other. I don’t think E. L. James knows Americans as well as she thinks she does.
Then we travel forward in time (thankfully) to miss Kate and Ana moving into their new apartment. We find them settled in and ready to relax. A delivery boy shows up, and of course it’s from Christian, who is now sending a bottle of champagne and a helicopter balloon. Ana gets a huge rush out of explaining to Kate that Christian has a helicopter, and flies it himself. I’m just gonna be totally frank here: Ana is just a bad person. She is so unlikeable, I find myself hoping she’ll choke to death on the champagne.
Finally, mercifully, it’s Sunday, big bad contract signing day. Ana meets Christian at his penthouse (in those millions of emails he did specify a time). Christian reminds Ana he has hired a doctor to examine her and provide some birth control. Wow. That is soooo not creepy. At all. It’s even not-creepier that he tells her he’d pay good money to watch her examination, but he doesn’t think that’s appropriate. Luckily we are spared the filthy, sexy gyno appointment because that’s where chapter 17 ends.
You tell ’em Zoidberg. So its onward and upward to Chapter 18, and one sincerely hopes, some of the sexy, sexy sex that these books are so famous for. But I doubt it.